Handling hygiene within care homes is clearly an issue that’s of vital importance. Protecting the health of patients and residents should be the top priority in any home, as elderly and ill people are much more susceptible to the risks posed by inadequate cleaning. Very high standards must be maintained at all times, and this is only possible when a strict code of conduct is drawn up and implemented by the managers of any home. Many staff may not realise all the risks involved or understand how to control them, but it’s essential that they are instructed and training in an organised way.
In addition to day-to-day duties, dedicated in-depth hygiene services are offered by hospital cleaning companies like KDC (Kitchen Deep Cleaning), and example of a firm with a great reputation and years of experience in the field. Regular deep cleaning carried out by such companies should be essential in many care homes. However, in order for this approach to be effective, it must be supported by staff having a good overall understanding of health and safety when it comes to cleaning, including the following basic knowledge.
Have staff clean different areas. Use a rotation system to ensure different team members cover each particular area of the care home that needs cleaning. This means if one person makes a mistake, even if it’s part of their routine, it should be corrected by someone else who is unlikely to miss the same thing.
Have clear systems and guidelines. Using systems like colour coding can make it easier for staff to understand what areas are high priority for cleaning, what products are suitable for use in each area and so on, even without much specific training.
Don’t use excessive products. – You will rarely work with cleaning chemicals that require large quantities to be used in order to get good results. In most cases, using less could be safer due the harmful effects of using too many strong chemicals. It would be wise to especially discourage the use of air fresheners, as these simply hide problems and serve no cleaning function.
Take food hygiene seriously. Be aware that even pre-prepared food such as packaged sandwiches and fruit can contain dangerous levels of harmless bacteria, and these can multiply if food is not stored correctly. Even food kept in the fridge can be a suitable breeding ground for harmful diseases when the person eating the food is already ill or has a weakened immune system.
Consider visitors’ impressions. Patients’ friends and family will most likely be visiting your home on a regular basis, plus potential patients may be coming to view the place, let alone inspectors. The impression all these people get will be hugely important, and could be strongly impacted in a positive or a negative way by the standard of cleaning they witness.
When it comes to cleaning in care homes, all of the above points should be considered by staff at all times. It’s essential to act quickly to prevent the spread of harmful infections, maintaining the same high standards at all times. For managers, it’s vital to make sure enough budget is allocated to getting cleaning supplies and staff to meet the requirements of the home, and also to ensure a strategy is always in place to tackle this potential problem area.